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Geller Women's Health Psychology Lab

Geller Women's Health Psychology Lab at the 2018 NASPOG Convention
The Women's Health Psychology Lab at the 2018 NASPOG Convention

Welcome to the website of Professor Pamela Geller's Women's Health Psychology Lab! Our research focuses on health psychology, specifically women's reproductive health. We study stressful life events and mental and physical health outcomes and the role of personal and social resources as moderators of stress, within the context of women’s reproductive life events.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to view the frequently asked questions page and to also read about our current research below to gain more information about our lab.

Current Research

Members of our lab are currently pursuing a number of research directions, reflected in graduate students' thesis and dissertation projects, as well as lab-wide studies. Our current lines of research generally pertain to women's health psychology, and include issues related to reproductive health and stressful life events. Below are descriptions of our ongoing research projects.

For information about opportunities to enroll in ongoing projects, please visit our Research Participation page.

Please note: This information was last updated in January 2020.

Mother Baby Connections Program

This is a newly developed interdisciplinary intensive outpatient program serving women with depression, anxiety, and psychological distress during pregnancy and postpartum. Interventions target areas such as symptom reduction, maternal-infant interaction, and relationship with partner (e.g., spouse). Geller is the Co-Director of Mother Baby Connections with Bobbie Posmontier (See: drexel.edu/now/archive/2016/May/Mother-Baby-Connections/).

Newborn/Infant Intensive Care Unit Projects N/IICU at CHOP

Admission into a hospital setting can be a stressful experience for families of neonatal infants. In collaboration with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the Women's Health Psychology Lab is developing interventions designed to provide psychosocial support to parents with infants in CHOP’s Newborn/Infant Intensive Care Unit (N/IICU). Research assistants may help with parent support groups and provider education in the CHOP N/IICU. Several projects are ongoing: screening parents for psychological distress, a psychoeducational group for families, Mindful NICU group for parents of infants with chronic lung disease (CLD), an international survey of NICUs worldwide to determine the type of psychosocial services typically provided by NICUs, a psychosocial training for nurses on how to deal with difficult families in the NICU, consultation services to other members of the CHOP NICU care team. Related clinical research projects also are in the process of development.

Minority Women’s Experience of Pregnancy Loss

The Pregnancy Loss study is a theory-driven, quantitative investigation of how race/ethnicity affects women's coping strategies after pregnancy loss. This study has several aims: 1) to document the occurrence of grief, depressive, and anxiety reactions following the experiences of miscarriage and stillbirth; 2) to compare these experiences of grief, depressive, and anxiety reactions by gestational length at time of loss; 3) to examine the relationship between psychological distress and women's attributions for the loss, perception of care provided by healthcare professionals and provision of etiological information following loss; and 4) to assess posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomology among women who have experienced pregnancy loss. This project is led by Victoria Grunberg.

REDUCING DISTRESS IN MUSLIM WOMEN EXPERIENCING INFERTILITY

Research suggests that despite a high prevalence of stress and depression among Muslim women experiencing infertility, few engage in psychotherapy. This research study aims to address barriers to seeking psychotherapy and to reduce depressive symptoms in this population using a newly developed internet-based intervention. This project is led by Mona Elgohail.

Mindfulness in the NICU

This intervention study tests the feasibility and acceptability of providing groups using mindful stress-reduction and self-compassion techniques for parents with infants hospitalized in the Newborn Infant Intensive Care Unit (N/IICU) at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The primary goal of this study is to implement a novel NICU-adapted, manualized mindfulness program and determine its acceptability and feasibility. Secondary goals include examining changes in stress, mental health distress, and mindfulness.

NICU Infant Development and Family

This study examines whether and to what extent parental mental health, parenting style, parent-infant interactions and couple and family functioning contribute to NICU infant cognitive, language, motor and socio-emotional development. Results will help inform researchers and clinicians how best to understand and address family distress following NICU hospitalization. This project is led by Victoria Grunberg.

Maternal Self-Efficacy in the Postpartum Period

This project aims to begin development of a new measure of maternal self-efficacy through the collection of qualitative data from postpartum mothers. The goal is to translate this qualitative data into items in a new quantitative measure as a means of both generating a patient-centered and content valid measure of self-efficacy as well as to inform the development of future psychological interventions for new mothers. This project is lead by Ari Albanese.

Sleep and Reproductive Health

This project aims to understand sleep among women who are pregnant and those who are trying to get pregnant, including those with infertility. The goal of this research is to uncover how sleep quantity and quality may affect mental and physical health in women of reproductive age, how sleep may affect fertility, and how poor sleep may confer risk to mother and infant. This project is lead by Ali Hartman.

Drexel Programming

Helen I. Moorehead-Laurencin, MD Sex and Gender Research Forum

Pamela A. Geller, PhD, and lab lead Drexel University’s annual Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership Helen I. Moorehead-Laurencin, MD Sex and Gender Research Forum from 2017-2019.

Learn more about the Sex and Gender Research Forum